Civil rights

The reform of the law on the electoral count is necessary; Congress must also address racial discrimination in voting

Read a PDF of our statement here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mattie Goldman, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, [email protected]

Lacy Crawford, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, [email protected]

Chris Ford, Legal Defense Fund (LDF), [email protected]

Rotimi Adeoye, American Civil Liberties Union, [email protected]

Michelle Boykins, Asian Americans for Advancing Justice – AAJC, [email protected]

Mauda Moran, Native American Rights Fund, [email protected]

Kevin Pallasch, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, [email protected]

Gwyn Ellsworth, Demos, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – Leading civil rights organizations issued the following joint statement urging Congress to respond fully to the assault on our democracy, including urgent threats to the right to vote of people of color:

“The undersigned organizations welcome the introduction of legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (“ECA”). The deadly insurgency in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, which sought to overturn the results of a presidential election, was an unprecedented and dangerous assault on our democracy. The House Select Committee hearings continue to document the myriad forms of abuse of power and office that fomented and facilitated this attack, and we join in the call for full accountability from everyone involved, including at most high level. We can never allow this to happen again. The provisions of the bill are intended to remove any ambiguity in the ECA. We look forward to Congress carefully considering and strengthening the current proposal to ensure that the final legislation eliminates all means of undermining the votes and voices of our increasingly diverse electorate.

“While the discussion of essential measures to prevent a new frontal challenge to the electoral count process is valuable, we must again emphasize that the reform of the CEA is not enough to protect our democracy at this fragile moment. Early in the Senate’s bipartisan efforts to reform the CEA, many of the undersigned organizations sent a letter to the Senate to urge him to directly address growing racial discrimination in the vote.

“We know full well that the January 6 attack on our democracy – like the growing attacks on voting rights – was rooted in white supremacy and represented a backlash to the increased political participation of communities of color. These threats continue to rage and must be addressed immediately by this Congress if we hope to secure and safeguard an inclusive multiracial democracy in which everyone can participate. Although complementary legislation released alongside the ECA reform proposal addresses some aspects of electoral administration, it does nothing to address electoral discrimination and therefore fails to address a root cause of the insurgency. . We hope that as the Senate considers necessary reform of the CEA, it can also devote time and resources to addressing the pressing threats to the suffrage of people of color across the United States.

The statement was signed by the following organizational leaders:

  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Chairman and Executive Director Damon Hewitt
  • Jesselyn McCurdy, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs of the Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union
  • The Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Director of Policy Lisa Cylar Barrett
  • Asian American Advancing Justice – ACCA President and Executive Director, John C. Yang
  • John E. Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund
  • Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund Director of Policy LaShawn Warren
  • Demos President Taifa Smith Butler

About the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the country’s leading lawyers as agents of change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that black people and other people of color have the voice, the opportunity and the power to deliver on the promises of our democracy. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all people in the United States. The Leadership Conference works for an America that lives up to its ideals. For more information about the Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

For more than 100 years, the ACLU worked in courts, legislatures and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU fights the toughest fights for civil liberties in the pursuit of freedom and justice for all.

Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multidisciplinary, collaborative center within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957, although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to gender equality. rights.

Asian Americans for the Advancement of Justice – ACCA’s mission is to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a just and equitable society for all. Visit our website at advancing justice-aajc.org

NARF is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization focused on enforcing existing laws and treaties to ensure that federal and state governments meet their legal obligations to Native Americans. Since 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) provided expert legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide to assert and defend the most important indigenous rights.

The SPLC Action Fund is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all. SPLC Action Fund is the 501(c)4 affiliate of the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more information, visit www.splcactionfund.org.

Demos is a think tank that fuels the movement for fair, inclusive and multiracial democracy. Through cutting-edge policy research, inspiring litigation, and deep relationships with local organizations, Demos champions solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity.

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